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Apprehension Is Growing In America’s LGBTQ Communities

The election has left many people across the LGBTQ community feeling anxious

On election night, anxiety and fear exponentially increased among transgender, LGBTQ, and other marginalized communities as the reality of Donald Trump’s presidency began to materialize. There was a spike in the number of people who reached out to hotlines the night of the election and the day after.

Steven Mendelsohn, spokesperson for LGBTQ support group The Trevor Project, revealed that calls to its suicide prevention hotline were more than double usual numbers.


An estimated 2,000 people reached out to the Crisis Text Line, a 24-hour text support line. Outreach was made mainly from the LGBTQ community and from people who had LGBTQ-identifying friends. Chief data scientist Bob Filbin said most of the concerns were about how Trump’s victory would affect policies at the state and federal level.

Between 1 and 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline received more than two and a half times the average volume of phone calls. “This was an extraordinary year by any stretch of the imagination,” said Director John Draper in a statement to The Washington Post.

According to co-founder and director of Trans Lifeline Greta Martela, “We had more calls during election night and the day after than in all of November last year.” Callers were concerned about healthcare access—many receive aid from the Affordable Care Act for hormone and psychiatric therapy—and their rights to changing gender identity.

Callers also sought reassurance or guidance about no longer being able to marry the person they love, communicated feelings of loneliness and isolation, and expressed desires of ending their lives.

Debi Jackson, owner and founder of Gender Inc., confirmed that there have been a few suicides and suicide attempts by trans youth, “After such a contentious election cycle, the results of the vote on Tuesday night left many people across the LGBTQ community (as well as other marginalized communities) feeling incredibly anxious leading to acts of self-harm and desperation, including a few suicides and multiple suicide attempts.”

The LGBTQ and transgender community are more prone to be targets of hate crimes compared to other marginalized groups. They are vulnerable and almost invisible communities whose fears fortified with the election of Trump. He has threatened to overturn marriage equality and he also supports the anti-LGBTQ First Amendment Defense Act and North Carolina’s anti-transgender House Bill 2 (HB2)—widely known as the “bathroom bill.” His running mate, Mike Pence, has advocated for conversion therapy, voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act—which prohibits discrimination on gender identity and sexual orientation—and passed a law in Indiana that could send someone applying for a same-sex marriage license to jail.

A Trump-Pence administration could mean a giant setback for much of the progress made for LGBTQ and transgender rights, acceptance, and visibility. The transgender and LGBTQ communities have been fighting a long and hard battle. It is time to stand in solidarity for communities whose rights are being threatened by the Trump administration.

Resources for those in need of support

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386

24/7 call center for LGBT+ youth

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Lifeline Crisis Chat (text based)

24/7 call and text based services for anyone in need of support

Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860

24/7 services for trans people

Crisis Text Line: Text NAMI to 741-741

24/7 crisis support via text message for anyone in crisis

Articles
via Collection of the New-York Historical Society / Wikimedia Commons

Fredrick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818. At the age of 10 he was given to the Auld family.

As a child, he worked as a house slave and was able to learn to read and write, and he attempted to teach his fellow slaves the same skills.

At the age of 15, he was given to Thomas Auld, a cruel man who beat and starved his slaves and thwarted any opportunity for them to practice their faith or to learn to read or write.

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Culture
via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

On April 20, 1889 at the Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria Salzburger located at Vorstadt 15, Alois and Klara Hitler brought a son into the world. They named him Adolph.

Little did they know he would grow up to be one of the greatest forces of evil the world has ever known.

The Hitlers moved out of the Braunau am Inn when Adolph was three, but the three-story butter-colored building still stands. It has been the subject of controversy for seven decades.

via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

The building was a meeting place for Nazi loyalists in the 1930s and '40s. After World War II, the building has become an informal pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis and veterans to glorify the murderous dictator.

The building was a thorn in the side to local government and residents to say the least.

RELATED: He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

For years it was owned by Gerlinde Pommer, a descendant of the original owners. The Austrian government made numerous attempts to purchase it from her, but to no avail. The building has served many purposes, a school, a library, and a makeshift museum.

In 1989, a stone from the building was inscribed with:

"For Peace, Freedom

and Democracy.

Never Again Fascism.

Millions of Dead Remind [us]."

via Jo Oh / Wikimedia Commons

For three decades it was home to an organization that offered support and integration assistance for disabled people. But in 2011, the organization vacated the property because Pommer refused to bring it up to code.

RELATED: 'High Castle' producers destroyed every swastika used on the show and the video is oh-so satisfying

In 2017, the fight between the government and Pommer ended with it seizing the property. Authorities said it would get a "thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building."

Now, the government intends to turn it into a police station which will surely deter any neo-Nazis from hanging around the building.

Austria has strict anti-Nazi laws that aim to prohibit any potential Nazi revival. The laws state that anyone who denies, belittles, condones or tries to justify the Nazi genocide or other Nazi crimes against humanity shall be punished with imprisonment for one year up to ten years.

In Austria the anti-Nazi laws are so strict one can go to prison for making the Nazi hand salute or saying "Heil Hitler."

"The future use of the house by the police should send an unmistakable signal that the role of this building as a memorial to the Nazis has been permanently revoked," Austria's IInterior Minister, Wolfgang Peschorn said in a statement.

The house is set to be redesigned following an international architectural competition.

Communities
via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

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Politics
via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?

Lifestyle

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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